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Volvo keeps quarry in suspense

Quarrying company Italcave has boosted productivity thanks to the addition of a Volvo A40F-FS full suspension articulated hauler.

The Volvo A40F-FS offers enhanced stability and high power making it ideal for use on challenging terrain.

Set between the city of Milan and the border of Switzerland is Cucciago, a village with a population of about 3,000. Dominating its five square kilometers is a 350,000 square meter quarry – the largest in the province. Boasting an ancient history, its geology can be traced to the great Alpine glaciers, which, on several occasions over the last five million years have descended the valleys of Lake Como, forming the layers of sediment that are visible today.

The quarry’s most recent history, spanning the last 50 years, has been carved out by quarrying company Italcave. As with all quarrying operations, productivity weighs heavily on profitability. To increase its efficiency and operator comfort, while at the same time reducing machine maintenance costs, Italcave has looked to Volvo CE for support. Having already acquired a dozen Volvo CE machines, the company added its third articulated hauler – the Volvo A40F-FS – to its fleet.

“Since establishing our partnership with Volvo CE Italy many years ago, we’ve continually added more machines to our growing fleet,” says the company’s Dr. Sergio Pines. “As soon as we heard about the Volvo A40F-FS articulated hauler’s output on the market, equipped with Full Suspension (FS), we decided to do more research. Our findings, coupled with the respect that we have for operator comfort and its impact on job site productivity, convinced us to purchase the machine.”

Italcave provides complete solutions for the excavation, production and supply of materials – sand and gravel – as well as filling, demolition, transportation of materials and recovery of demolition materials in Cucciago and the wider region. The company also deals with the manufacture and sale of ready-mixed cement, produced from quarry aggregates in its onsite plant. The facility is also used to process and recycle demolition materials for civil, industrial and road construction.

The A40F-FS articulated hauler is fitted with the Full Suspension (FS), offering enhanced stability for higher average speeds, leading to shorter cycle times and increased productivity on the quarry’s tough terrain. The hauler is designed to work in harmony with its purpose built Volvo D16 V-ACT engine, transmission and axles. These features, when combined, contribute to greater fuel efficiency, higher productivity and speed of response. The electronically controlled six-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine is optimized to help the hauler achieve maximum performance on the quarry’s often challenging terrain, boosting productivity.

Additionally, drive shafts, planetary gears and bearings are reinforced to withstand higher torque, making the fully automatic transmission a perfect match for the heavy-duty engines. Not only are they built in a CO2 neutral factory, the F-series full suspension articulated haulers are also more environmentally friendly and efficient than their E-series predecessors.

The machine complies with Tier 4i and Stage IIIB emission. For greater speed control and safety when hauling downhill, the articulated hauler is fitted with the Volvo Engine Brake (VEB), which reduces the use of service brakes, thereby decreasing operating costs. To prevent slippage of the wheels, the machine is fitted with Automatic Traction Control (ATC) that features differential locks and 100% dog clutch, ensuring optimum mobility and traction with reduced fuel consumption and tire wear.

Diagnostics data, such as malfunction indicators, are provided by the Contronics system and communicated to the operator through easy-to-use screens and functions. The machine is also fitted with an On-Board Weighing (OBW) system that optimizes payload thereby preventing overload problems, reduces machine wear and contributes to improved drivability and safety. Combined with a spacious interior that offers a quiet and comfortable atmosphere, the intuitive controls make for a less strenuous work environment. Together with the easy-to-read display, the operator can focus on what is happening outside of the cab.

The Volvo CE full suspension articulated hauler works in harmony with other Volvo machines for greater operational productivity.

“We’re very pleased with how the fully hydraulic suspension system stabilizes the machine, adapting well to the bumpy terrain and steep inclines, all to the benefit of our backs!” says Italcave operator, Giuliano Frison.

The machine also features self-compensating, hydro-mechanical steering, providing a short turning radius and improved maneuverability, offering the operator equal measures of comfort and precision.

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